Monday, April 20, 2009

WSJ: Hackers Breach Joint Strike Fighter Project

Citing unnamed current and former government officials, The Wall Street Journal reported that hackers compromised the security of the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project. The breach resulted in un-authorized access and copying of several terabytes of data related to key portions of the aircraft, including its design and electronics, according to the article. The Wall Street Journal article further places the breach in the context of other recently reported hacks, such as intrusion of the nation's electrical grid.

Occam Networks Adds New Optical Network Terminals (ONTs)

Occam Networks has introduced three new optical network terminals (ONTs) designed to help service providers deliver a full array of FlexPlay fiber services for their business and residential subscribers.

The Occam ON 2501, ON 2534 and ON 2568 complement Occam's existing suite of GPON and Gigabit Ethernet FTTP ONT products and are optimized to deliver services such as traditional telephone, high-speed data and entertainment services when deployed with the BLC 6322 GPON optical line terminal.

Connectivity for business applications: The Occam ON 2568 enables MEF-8 compliant DS-1 circuit emulation services (CES) for business applications. The ON 2568 is equipped with two DS1 ports, each designed for private line, dedicated data and business voice applications.

Native support for RF Return: Powering interactive entertainment services, the Occam ON 2534 natively supports RF over IP and integrates into SCTE 55-1 and 55-2 compliant video environments.

Carrier Ethernet service demarcation: The Occam ON 2501 is a full featured, intelligent Ethernet demarcation ONT that can be installed inside the premise. This cost-competitive device is ideal for residential and business applications looking for the simplest way to deliver intelligent Ethernet to the premise.

The new ONTs can be deployed in a wide range of environments including single family residences (SFRs), small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and multiple dwelling/multiple tenant units (MDU/MTUs), providing unmatched flexibility, simplicity and cost-efficiency. The ON 2501 is optimized for indoor deployment, while the ON 2534 and ON 2568 are hardened for challenging outdoor environments.

Reliance Globalcom offers Digital Film Distribution Service

Adlabs Films, India's largest entertainment conglomerate, is using Reliance Globalcom's global network to deliver movies to screens in the U.S. Specifically, Reliance Globalcom's privately owned global fiber-optic network has enabled Adlabs to move its content more efficiently, dramatically reducing delivery times by 50-90 percent while securing the encrypted content during the transport process. Reliance Globalcom said its network provides the capacity to support the transport of large volumes of content simultaneously, including files as large as 2-3 terabytes, in full-resolution mode. Transferring content over the network eliminates all types of transport and shipping intermediaries, as well as delays incurred by weather, customs agencies, couriers and airline carriers.

Harmonic Introduces Video Quality Monitoring Solution

Harmonic introduced its video quality (VQ) monitoring and optimization software, a new solution suite designed for broadcasters and service providers.

The IRIS software gives operators the tools to maximize video quality in real-time for the entire program lineup, offering end users a better viewing experience. The information provided by IRIS allows service providers to optimize bandwidth utilization by more effectively balancing the distribution of channels across their multiplexes.

IRIS delivers a variety of real-time QoS measurements or scheduled reports for hundreds of programs. For instance, operators can check status of video quality, global channel availability, statmux pool optimization scores, and source quality and complexity. IRIS can be utilized in conjunction with Harmonic's DiviCom Electra encoders, ProStream 1000 stream processing platform and NMX Digital Service Manager to provide a centrally managed solution for QoS monitoring.

Sprint Reduces its Carbon Emissions

As the result of an internal audit of its IT operations, Sprint cut approximately $20 million worth of operating costs and reduced the company's overall IT carbon footprint by approximately 10,450 metric tons.

Sprint said its efforts to decrease mounting maintenance and support costs led it to retire underutilized applications, eliminate and redeploy servers, and free data center capacity, all of which decreased carbon emissions and reduced power consumption. The company also cited a number of specific gains:

  • Reducing its overall IT spend by $20 million, which relied in part on the phase-out of 127 nonessential applications

  • Reclaiming $28 million by retiring or redeploying 2,239 servers and reclaiming 291,042 gigabytes of storage, reducing the need to expand storage space or add new servers

  • Avoiding the need to build a new data center facility, by redeploying servers and reclaiming storage.

  • Cutting carbon emissions related to powering its data center by 10,450 metric tons, a step that brings Sprint closer to its 2017 goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15 percent. (According to EPA data, such emissions reductions equal taking 2,000 passenger cars off the road.)

Bluetooth 3.0 Promises Speeds of up to 24 Mbps via 802.11

The Bluetooth SIG formally adopted Bluetooth Core Specification Version 3.0 + High Speed (HS), or Bluetooth 3.0.

This new specification release includes several major enhancements:

  • Generic Alternate MAC/PHY (AMP)

  • 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL)

  • Generic Test Methodology

  • Enhanced Power Control

  • Unicast Connectionless Data

Bluetooth 3.0 leverages the 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) to enable data transfers at the approximate rate of 24 Mbps. In addition, mobile devices including Bluetooth 3.0 will realize increased power savings due to enhanced power control built in. This newest version of Bluetooth technology builds on the inherent qualities of the current 2.1 + EDR version, including Simple Secure Pairing and built-in, automatic security. And as with all versions of the Bluetooth specification, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS provides backwards compatibility.

End products for consumers are expected to be in the market in 9 to 12 months.

Motorola Expands WiMAX Network for Taiwan's Far EasTone

Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecom (FET) has awarded Motorola additional contracts to expand its WiMAX network in Taichung, Taiwan. The deal follows previous WiMAX contracts with FET signed in 2007. The projects will boost network performance and provide new management features, preparing FET for the commercial launch of mobile broadband services by the end of 2009.

Under the contract, Motorola will deploy its WAP access point portfolio, its WiMAX base stations, and integrate Connectivity Service Network (CSN) Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA)/Home Agent (HA) solution to extend FET's existing network and provide functions like access control and billing. Motorola has also enhanced the previously deployed Network Management System (NMS) for the expanded network and the new CSN components. Motorola NMS increases network stability and availability. It also ensures improved network performance with advanced design and flexible integration capabilities.

FET, the only Taiwan telecom operator with both cellular and WiMAX networks, is expanding its WiMAX network as part of the operator's commitment to the M-Taiwan project, a government initiative to accelerate WiMAX ecosystem development and create a city-wide broadband network.

Aricent to Deliver Multimedia Codecs to Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson has selected Aricent's multimedia encoders and decoders (codecs) for inclusion in its next generation, Symbian operating system-based mobile phones.

Aricent's Multimedia Suite includes a range of applications and codecs that enable handset manufacturers to quickly launch highly differentiated products.

"Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has clearly established a leadership position in mobile multimedia devices," said Sanjay Dhawan, President and COO of Aricent. "We are thrilled to be a part of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications' innovative wireless multimedia solutions and look forward to a long and mutually rewarding partnership."

Aricent noted its long history of providing advanced multimedia technology, software and integration services for mobile devices and voice over IP applications. The company provides a single source for all next generation mobile multimedia requirements. Aricent's portfolio of mobile multimedia products and services enable accelerated development of high performance, multimedia communications devices for voice, mobile TV, messaging, videoconferencing, and streaming video applications.

Broadcom Reports 24% Q1 Drop, Bids to Acquire Emulex for Fibre Channel

Broadcom reported net revenue for the first quarter of 2009 of $853.4 million, a decrease of 24.2% compared with the $1.127 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2008 and a decrease of 17.3% compared with the $1.032 billion reported for the first quarter of 2008. Net loss (GAAP) was $91.9 million, or $.19 net loss per share (basic and diluted), compared with GAAP net loss of $159.2 million, or $.32 net loss per share (basic and diluted), for the fourth quarter of 2008, and GAAP net income of $74.3 million, or $.14 per share (diluted), for the first quarter of 2008.

"As we progressed through the first quarter, customer bookings strengthened, which is reflected in our anticipated sequential revenue growth in the second quarter of 2009."

Broadcom also announced a bid to acquire Emulex Corporation, which specializes in Fibre Channel solutions, for $9.25 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately $764 million. The offer represents a 40 percent premium above the closing price of Emulex common stock on April 20, 2009, a 62 percent premium to trailing 30 day average price per share and an approximately 85 percent premium to enterprise value.

Broadcom said the acquisition would enable it to accelerate the development of converged solutions for enterprise networks.

Scott A. McGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said, "This combination is strategically compelling and provides significant value to the shareholders of both companies. Broadcom has long and successful experience, through over 40 transactions, of integrating companies into Broadcom, so this is a highly achievable proposal to deliver value to customers and employees of both companies.

"A combination of Broadcom and Emulex addresses our customers' growing need to apply the economics of Ethernet to the Fibre Channel storage space to achieve low-cost network converged solutions," stated Scott A. McGregor, CEO of Broadcom. "The logical evolution of the enterprise network is for a transition to a converged fabric architecture that incorporates a broad array of technologies. Our combined entity can be a one-stop shop for key networking and storage technologies for the enterprise and for our industry. Our preference is to proceed in a friendly, collaborative manner, and we hope that Emulex's Board will see the merits of this combination and appreciate the substantial value being offered to its shareholders."

AT&T Unveils "Behind the Firewall" Content Distribution Solution

AT&T introduced a fully managed private content distribution solution simplifying enterprises ability to deliver rich media assets behind the corporate firewall, such as live or on-demand video streaming or large multimedia files for download.

AT&T said its Private Content Distribution Service (AT&T PCDS) removes the complexity of managing the technical requirements necessary to deliver content across a corporate-wide network. Companies will be able to buy a comprehensive solution that includes the procurement of the necessary equipment, installation, monitoring, trouble ticketing, patching, reporting and day to day operational support of the service.

AT&T Private Content Distribution service is part of AT&T's Digital Media Solutions portfolio, a suite of content delivery and digital media solutions to help companies package, deliver and distribute video and rich multimedia Web content across their networks to the three screens that are core to AT&T's multimedia strategy -- the computer, the television and mobile computing devices such as the iPhone and the BlackBerry.

"On the average business day, about one-third of the more than 17 petabytes of traffic traversing AT&T's global backbone network is video content. A mere three years ago, video content traversing the AT&T network produced barely a blip," said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president of strategy and application services, AT&T Business Solutions.

Comcast to Launch 50 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 in San Francisco

Comcast is launching DOCSIS 3.0 service in San Francisco and on the peninsula, offering its Extreme 50 tier with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps. Wideband will also enable Comcast to double speeds for the majority of existing high-speed Internet customers at no additional cost. The company previously deployed wideband in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area, portions of the East Bay and the Monterey-Salinas area in March.

New PBB-TE Standard (802.1Qay) Addresses Connection-Oriented Ethernet

A new IEEE P802.1Qay standard for connection-oriented Ethernet in Service Provider networks has completed the IEEE sponsor ballot process and entered the final phase of ratification. The goal is to provided connection-oriented characteristics and deterministic behavior for Ethernet in metro networks.

The standard defines Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), a technology that enables Service Providers to explicitly set up traffic engineered paths across a Carrier Ethernet Network.

The standard furnishes the ability to organize the traffic engineered path into Service Provider-defined linear protection groups to provide 1:1 resiliency. PBB-TE is based on layered VLAN tags and MAC-in-MAC encapsulation as defined in IEEE 802.1ah, Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB). By turning off Ethernet's Spanning Tree and media-access-control address-flooding and learning characteristics, PBB-TE enables Ethernet to evolve into an Ethernet Transport Resource Layer capable of replacing SONET/SDH as the Data Layer within Next Generation Transport Architectures.

Key features of PBB-TE include:

  • Traffic engineering and resiliency

  • Secure, deterministic delivery

  • Service scalability

  • Operational simplicity

  • Service and transport layer independence

  • Superior return on investment than alternative technologies, from leveraging the economies of scale inherent in Ethernet

With technical agreement on P802.1Qay now complete, a final review by the IEEE Standards Board is underway.

IEEE P802.1Qay is sponsored by the IEEE 802 Local and Area Network Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society.

Cisco Enhances WebEx Collaboration Cloud for SaaS, Adds Security Products

Cisco unveiled a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture and enhancements to its SaaS-based Cisco WebEx collaborative applications.

Cisco said it is pursuing a vision as "everything as a service". The goal is to give customers the flexibility to extend on-demand services into the on-premises network, and utilize the network as the platform for highly secure collaboration.

The Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud is a purpose-built network designed to deliver high-quality, highly secure, and reliable collaborative experiences within and between companies. It utilizes intelligent routing based on location, bandwidth and availability to provide global load balancing, and seamless global backup for data, audio and video for collaborative applications including conferencing, instant messaging and team spaces.

The Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud uses eight Cisco-powered global datacenters. The company said it is now delivering greater than 99.99 percent uptime and has a multilayered security model. The Collaboration Cloud hosts more than 200,000 WebEx meetings every day, including CiscoWebEx Connect collaboration sessions.

New versions of Cisco WebEx SaaS meeting applications are also being released, including upgrades to CiscoWebEx Meeting Center, Cisco WebEx Training Center, Cisco WebEx Event Center and CiscoWebEx Support Center, all of which are delivered through the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud. The applications support new features for e-training, virtual events, and remote support as well as an enhanced user experience, expanded device support and expanded global reach.

In addition, the company is introducing the new Cisco WebEx Node for the ASR 1000 Series aggregation services routing platforms. The WebEx Node for ASR 1000 allows the edge router to act as a point of presence (PoP) within an enterprise network for meeting attendees on that network. This reduces bandwidth requirements, enhances video and VoIP performance, while utilizing the global load balancing and availability features of the WebEx Collaboration Cloud to help ensure optimal performance for customers within the enterprise network.

Cisco also announced today five new additions to its security portfolio. These include:

  • Cisco Security Cloud Services: tying together the cloud and the enterprise network for highly secure collaborative communications. The Cisco Security Cloud supports the recently announced Cisco IronPort Hosted Email Security Services as well as Global Correlation, a powerful new technique that powers security services integrated into Cisco's broad range of security offerings.

  • Cisco IPS Sensor Software Version 7.0: Global Correlation for intrusion prevention system (IPS) harnesses the power of Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, a powerful threat-defense ecosystem.

  • Cisco ASA 5500 Series 8.2 Software: This offering helps companies to more securely connect, communicate and conduct business. It offers a new Botnet Traffic Filter for identifying infected clients, IPS availability for small offices, and increased clientless remote-access capabilities.

  • Cisco ASA Botnet Traffic Filter: The new Botnet Traffic Filter enables Cisco ASA 5500 Series appliances to more accurately identify infected clients using information from Cisco Security Intelligence Operations: - more than 1,000 threat-collection servers that receive information from more than 700,000 sensors and 500 third-party feeds.

  • Cisco Remote Access and VPN Enhancements: Cisco ASA Software Release 8.2 expands remote access capabilities with next-generation tunneling and session persistence through Cisco AnyConnect Essentials for corporate and mobile users.